Sunday, October 5, 2008
An Unusual Conversation with a USCL Manager
So I was enjoying a peaceful Friday afternoon (my loud, obnoxious roommate being many thousands of miles away) when I received a phone call from an unfamiliar number with a name I didn't recognize. "Wrong number I mused" before answering and being greeted with a hearty:
Unidentified caller: Fifth place, I can't believe what a cheater you are!
Unidentified caller: Can't believe how badly you cheated us, Greg was right about you, you keep saying and doing stupid things.
Me: (Flicker of Recognition, now realizing this is Greg's father, Michael Shahade, hereby referred to as MS, which of course I should have figured out at the beginning since how many people out there are such that when you answer the phone, they are already in the middle of a sentence? (something which I became aware of last season when he called me to demand an apology for predicting the Inventors to finish last)).
MS: How could you do that? We knew he would never win GOTW, this was his one chance, and you cheated him out of it. You should be ashamed.
AS: (Searching wildly for story to make up), Umm sorry Greg put me up to it, I think he didn't want that game to win but wanted me to be the fall guy for it like I am for pretty much anything that goes wrong.
MS: No, he gave me your number to call and rectify this, I'm pretty sure you are just a cheater like I've been saying online.
AS: (Realizing I need something better quick) Well ... ohh yeah, my roommate put me up to it.
MS: Your roommate?
AS: Yeah, he's upset that he's done badly against your team in the past and asked me to do it to spite you.
MS: Who is he?
AS: Ohh, umm, Josh Friedel
MS: Ohh that's right! Rick kicked his butt that time and was kicking his butt a second time also.
AS: Yeah and he said he missed a forced win in the first game so yeah he's bitter. But he did beat you guys the most recent time.
MS: Sure, but if my Board Two could have managed to play Kxg5 we would have sent him home crying again.
AS: Perhaps, but in any case he's still mad over those other games I guess so he he had me do that.
MS: Well that's even more proof of your cheating. Greg told you our lineup for next week already, and you probably told it to him who told it to Dallas.
AS: Why would he tell them? They are competing with his team for the division, and besides he's in China so how could I have told him anyway?
MS: He's in China? Then how did he put you up to sabotaging our game by putting it in fifth?
AS: Ohh, ummm, uhh ...
MS: So not only a cheater, but a liar also.
AS: Well ... maybe that game just didn't deserve to win, I mean his opponent did just lose a piece kind of randomly. And it seems that people commenting/voting on our blog agree with me.
MS: ARE YOU JOKING?? I've never seen such a perfectly played game in the league. Moves like c5 are never played, and he owned a guy who never loses. And even if he didn't drop the piece, Black was already way better by then, White had no chance to defend that. You never see such perfectly games played in the league, how could it not win. It doesn't matter what some idiots commenting think, they are obviously all clueless.
AS: Why so broken up over this? I figured you'd be happy enough about winning the match and beating Boston.
MS: We didn't beat them.
AS: You didn't?
MS: No, winning 2.5 - 1.5 would have been beating them, we CRUSHED them. I even had to yell at Rick at the end of his game.
AS: Yell at him why?
MS: For drawing of course! We should have won 4 - 0.
AS: I see. Well in any case, what was the real purpose for this call, I mean after all the decision is already made, right or not.
MS: Well since you cheated us again, I expect retribution, like at least a thousand word apology.
AS: Ohh, not again. Why don't you ask Greg to do it, not like he actually does any other work, and he could have ranked that game higher too.
MS: I did ask, and he said to call you and get you to do it.
AS: I suppose I should have suspected as much; I know how he loves to volunteer me to do all the work he should be doing himself. But last year was humiliating enough, what this time?
MS: I want you to write something to really clarify to Boston just how badly we beat them. The Red Sox are going to play the Phillies in the World Series, so before that happens I want you to write about how the Red Sox have no chance and are going to get swept. So describe how they will suffer the same fate that they endured in the league.
AS: I don't know about that, I'm pretty sure the Devil Rays are going to be in the World Series not the Red Sox.
MS: Whatever, World Series or not, point is Phillies win, Red Sox lose, Philadelphia wins, Boston loses, and you need to write something to make people more aware of that.
AS: I don't know if I want to write something so blatantly anti-Boston, I might then be the next to incur the wrath of Boylston or one of their video interviews, and I'd really rather avoid that.
MS: I could care less what you want, just do it, we are owed since you cheated us, and speaking of Boylston, Rick is pretty upset with them for calling his league record "mediocre" so be sure to include something about how much they suck in your write-up.
AS: I see. Well, I'll think about it, but don't hold your breath.
So after this rather silly discussion finally ended, I did give some thought to his request, but eventually decided I couldn't go through with it for safety reasons. However, since all he seemed to want was to share his opinions about the perceived GOTW injustice and the Philadelphia vs Boston rivalry, it seemed that sharing the basic gist of our conversation (as I did above, albeit paraphrased) with you readers should effectively give you the message that he was trying to relay. As such, I hope this satisfies him!